After nearly a decade of playing the role, Scarlett Johansson is finally getting her own Black Widow movie.
The one thing that DC has on Marvel is a movie starring a female hero. 2017's "Wonder Woman" was a wonderful movie, and its sequel looks just as promising so far. Thankfully Marvel is catching up: "Captain Marvel" is coming out in early 2019, and the Black Widow movie finally has a director. Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland will be the first woman to direct a MCU film without a male co-director: Anna Boden is a co-director on "Captain Marvel" with Ryan Fleck.
Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige has stated that it is putting a lot of time and effort into making this movie right: the character has, after all, been appearing in these movies for almost a decade, so she deserves a proper movie. More than 65 directors were interviewed to take on the project, in a process that took over half a year.
While Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) doesn't actually have superhuman powers (or enough money to make an iron suit), the character is integral to the franchise. She uses her skills as a former assassin and a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to bring the Avengers together and keep them that way.
She has a complex but little-seen history, since she used to be a deadly assassin for the KGB. She was spared by Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who was supposed to assassinate her.
Here's everything we know about her standalone movie:
It will be part of the MCU's phase 4 line-up.
Phase 4 starts after "Avengers 4" with "Spider-Man: Homecoming 2" (July 2019), and will also include "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which doesn't have a release date yet.
Jac Schaeffer is writing the screenplay.
Scaheffer wrote 2009's "TiMER," the short "Olaf's Frozen Adventure," and 2019's upcoming "The Hustle," which stars Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson.
Johansson is reportedly contributing ideas to the screenplay. In 2016, Johansson told Variety about the endless possibilities for Black Widow film:
"There's a lot of places you can go — you can bring it back to Russia. You could explore the Widow program. There's all kinds of stuff that you could do with it. You could really uncover the identity of who this person is, where she comes from and where she's part of. There are so many ways you can go. I think it would just have to be very much like its own specific thing. It would have to have its own specific vibe. It would have been totally different than any of the other standalone films. I think if the fans wanted it enough, then it would probably become a reality."
Filming will begin next year.
This probably means that the movie will come out in 2020 or 2021, depending which half of 2019 filming takes place.
There have been rumors that the movie will be a prequel featuring Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier.
This would likely show Natasha during her early years in the US after the fall of the Soviet Union, when she first gets involved with S.H.I.E.L.D. Since Hawkeye and Natasha work together for years before the Avengers forms, it's safe to assume that he will be in the movie as well. But then again, we also assumed he would be in "Infinity War."
Winter Soldier's involvement could be quite significant. In "Captain America: Winter Soldier," Natasha mentions a run-in with him, and it probably wasn't just throwaway dialogue:
"Five years ago I was escorting a nuclear engineer out of Iran, somebody shot at my tires near Odessa. We lost control, went straight over a cliff, I pulled us out, but the Winter Soldier was there. I was covering my engineer, so he shot him straight through me. A Soviet slug, no rifling. Bye-bye bikinis."
Anthony Mackie has expressed interest in appearing.
Unfortunately, if the movie is a prequel, it's unlikely that Sam Wilson/Falcon would be written into it, since he didn't join the team until "Winter Soldier."
According to reports, Scarlett Johansson will make between $25 and $31 million for the movie.
Not confirmed, but this would make Scarlett Johansson the highest-paid female actor.
Marvel looked at over 65 directors to take on the project.
In late April, a report surfaced that Marvel Studios had interviewed over 65 directors for the Black Widow movie, with the intention to hire a woman. Before Marvel announced that it would hire a female director, "Thor: Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi said he'd be interested in directing a Black Widow comedy.
Marvel Studios narrowed down its search to three directors:
Amma Asante is a director and screenwriter. She directed 2013's "Belle" and 2016's "A United Kingdom," starring David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, and Tom Felton.
Betts is a screenwriter and director. Her first full-length film was the 2010 documentary, "The Carrier." Her first scripted feature, 2017's "Novitiate" starring Melissa Leo, which she also wrote, won her the Breakthrough Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
Cate Shortland got the job, and will direct the movie.
Shortland is an Australian director of film and television. Her first feature film, "Somersault," came out in 2004. 2012's "Lore" was submitted for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, but didn't make the cut. Her third feature, "Berlin Syndrome," based on the book of the same name, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017.
Shortland will be the best first woman to direct a movie in the MCU on her own. Anna Boden, the first woman to direct a movie in the franchise, is a co-director with Ryan Fleck on 2019's "Captain Marvel."